a fractal sublime
Roy Kinzer’s aerial landscape paintings are derived from altered topographical maps and digitally manipulated satellite images. He uses color, bleached-out light and fractal patterns to simulate atmospheric disturbances from the perspective of a satellite. Kinzer’s interests lie in the self-similarity that occurs when fractal patterns are magnified; like when a grain of sand appears to have a similar contour as a coastline of a continent. He combines these ambiguous scales with digital effects and enhanced color manipulated on the computer. This magnified view of nature creates a sense of isolation; the computer turns satellite images into a world of fantasy and exaggeration. He hides the normal thickness and texture of paint and collaged roads under layers of mediums and varnish, resulting in a smooth finish that further separates the viewer from the painting’s surface.
Kinzer’s paintings draw from the tradition of American nineteenth century Luminist landscape painters who explored the sublime, the feeling of rapture and awe caused by the beauty and terror of nature. He employs Luminist techniques such as magnified scale, dramatic lighting, deep space, and precarious perspective to heighten the emotional key of his work. But while the Luminists sought out the sublime in nature, Kinzer locates the sublime in technology. He interprets the simulated atmospheric disturbances as technology gone awry, a world where catastrophe and beauty meet, where environmental changes are visualized, where technology has tragically isolated, subjugated and compromised nature, creating a fractal sublime.
Roy Kinzer received his Master’s in Fine Arts from Vermont College. He is a recent recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. He has shown widely throughout the United States, including solo exhibitions at The Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY, the Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ, and the J. Rosenthal Gallery in Chicago. His group exhibitions include Breathing Space, at Metaphor Contemporary Art in Brooklyn, What is the Connection? at Trans Hudson Gallery in New Jersey City, and Works On/Of Paper at Rutgers University. His work has been reviewed The New York Times, The Sunday Star Ledger, and the Village Voice.